people working at office desks

Suppose you’re considering several property management companies and they all have trained, qualified staff, offer a full range of services, and have some experience with your type of asset. What questions should you ask next, to determine which of these companies will be the right fit for you?

In our experience, once you know that a company meets your general requirements, you need to learn about their approach. You and your team will have some specific needs – from the personal to the practical – regarding your management style and goals. Below, we list 5 key questions you should ask yourself, and then the companies you’re considering, as part of your hiring process.

1. Can they work with my property ownership style?

The sliding scale of styles ranges from landlords who want to invest minimal money into their asset – they don’t want to replace fixtures, systems, or infrastructure unless they absolutely have to – to owners who require that everything be maintained to a very high standard. When you’re interviewing companies, be clear about your style. Can they accommodate your needs? Do they truly understand where you’re coming from, or are they saying what they think you want to hear?

Question for the property manager:

Can you customize a service package to my needs? (At Transpacific we can, and do.)

2. Can they help me achieve my business goals?

You may want to develop your property, attract better tenants, or maintain it at the status quo. Know your business goals and determine if you’re only looking for services, or if you’d also like some advice and entrepreneurial thinking from your property manager.

If the answer is “yes”, look for a business-minded property manager who has had success – not just with your asset type, but also with your goals for it. When you meet with them, notice if they seem genuinely interested in helping you achieve your goals.

Question for the property manager:

Have you successfully managed assets like mine for the outcomes I’m looking for? What are some of your thoughts on how I might achieve my goals? (Don’t expect an in-depth consult, just a thoughtful consideration of the areas you might focus on.)

3. Do they have experience, not just with my asset type, but with its age and condition?

This question is less about new buildings and the technologies that are quickly evolving to serve them, and more about older assets, which need to be managed intelligently.

In older buildings, the property manager needs to know where it’s worth investing money, and where it’s not. Maintenance schedules and necessary upgrades have to co-exist in balance with your goals and budget – you may even require major capital projects down the road. If your asset is aging, look for a property manager with a track record of success with older buildings, both in terms of maintenance and tenant satisfaction. Do they understand how to manage it in an intelligent way so that your tenants are happy and you receive value for money spent?

Question for the property manager:

Can you provide examples of properties you manage that are in similar condition to my own? What type of capital projects have you managed?

4. How often do they provide maintenance, financial and operating reports?

While financial and operational reporting is on the list of services offered by all major property management firms, complaints about timely, accurate reporting are a big issue in the industry.

Apart from site visits, reports let you see what work has been done and what’s to come, how your actual expenses and revenue stack up against your projected budget, and what issues, if any, have arisen over the month. If this is important to you – and it should be – check whether the company promises reports on specific dates, and what their client references say about their actual delivery time.

Question for the property manager:

How often are your financial, operating, and maintenance reports issued? Are they issued on a specific day of the month?

5. Do they offer the type of relationship I want?

While we always start a contract with the goal of establishing a strong personal relationship with our clients, we also have clients who want a purely transactional relationship – and we respect that.

Do you prefer to deal with someone who is interested in getting to know you and your business, or do you like to keep things arms-length? Do you want a flat hierarchy where you know, and have access to, top decision-makers at the company, or are you content to deal with head offices in other cities? If you have a question, or make a request, what are your expectations around response times?

You’ll get a feel for the property manager’s approach at your first meeting, but you’ll also want to check their client references for proof of how well, and how quickly, they respond to requests and emergencies – and the quality of the relationships they establish.

Question for the property manager:

Can you provide client references? What is your process for problem-solving client issues?

Looking for a property management company where service and people come first?

Please give us a call at 604-873-8591. Let’s talk.

Share this Post